Fun things to do with kids this weekend in Chicago(land)


We believe that good dads are definitely worth celebrating, and organizations across Chicagoland seem to agree. Whether Dad is an outdoorsman or an artiste, a craft beer enthusiast or a cardboard connoisseur, there's an event this weekend that will float his  -- and your! -- boat. Plus, our full calendar has tons of other fun events happening in the city and suburbs, for moms, dads and kids alike.


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Summer Nights

Enjoy live music, kids entertainment, enhanced dining, a beer and wine garden, roaming performers, and special Zoo Chats with animal ambassadors, all on the zoo’s East Mall. Each night concludes with a spectacular laser light show.


Highland Games & Scottish Festival

Events includes a highland dance competition, athletics competition, cultural exhibits, car show, kids' crafts and activities.


Picnic with the Animals

An evening full of games, activities, animal visits, and zoo access. The Coyote Café and Wild Side Gift Shop will be open for food and gift purchases; guests may also bring their own picnic supper.


America's Cardboard Cup Regatta

Individuals and businesses build life-sized boats of cardboard and race them along a 200 yard course at the Crystal Lake Park District’s Main Beach.


Art in Bloom

Enjoy one of the park's biggest events of the year and a Father's Day tradition. Features a juried art show, nearly 100 exhibiting artists, activities and crafts for kids, demonstrations, live music (Guitarra Azul and Classical Blast), delicious food and more.


Custer Fair

Eclectic art festival with diverse works from 300+ artists. Plus, unique folk and Native American music on two stages, an "EcoVillage" green vendor area, a children's park with kids' activities, and the cuisine from more than 30 restaurants.


Family Fishing Day

All equipment, bait and tackle, and instructions provided. Plus, search the river waters for ‘fish food’ and look around through binoculars to see who else is looking for fish. Dutch Oven Cooks will be demonstrating how to cook fish and other tasty morsels outdoors.



Willow Creek offers fun for guests of all ages, including a luxury car show, firework display, live music by bands Mike and Joe (Saturday) and Maggie Speaks (Sunday), food trucks, kids entertainment and so much more. During Sunday services, Chicago Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts will take part in a Q&A with Willow Creek Teaching Pastor Steve Carter. Following the service, all are also invited to take part in the attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for Largest Game of Catch (baseball/softball).


Family Day/Open House

Features 10 wolves, Siberian tiger, black bear, mountain lion and more. Special Guests at Noon: Jim Nesci’s Cold-Blooded Creatures. Plus, food, drinks, gift shop, music, raffles and fun. Season passes and adoptions available.


Swedish Day

Festival will feature Scandinavian song and dance, Swedish food, Viking encampment, children's activities, Maypole raising, Piano Man tribute band, food and carnival games.


Special Needs Night at Centennial Beach

Families with individuals who have special needs are invited to enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening outside normal hours. The shallow end and shallow-end slide will be open. No registration required. Visit the website for details.


Bimmers, BBQ and Bow Ties

Features complimentary leisure drives of BMW's highest end vehicles, a chef-driven BBQ lunch and bourbon education, and men's styling and bow tie demos from Trunk Club. Other event elements include live Dixieland music, a luxury car show, cigar rolling, local craft beer, yoga golf demos, a kids arts & craft tent, and pony rides, with partial proceeds benefiting the Lemons of Love charity


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